UNLAWFUL HARM TO FETUS NOW OFFICIALLY A CRIME

Autor: ---- Fuente: Pro-Life Infonet

Beginning today (July 1, 2002)in Idaho, it will be considered a crime of murder, manslaughter or aggravated battery to unlawfully kill or injure a human fetus.

The law, one of 276 passed by the Idaho Legislature this past winter that take effect today, is expected to have little practical effect. But advocates of abortion rights say affording a fetus or embryo the same status as a human being could have far-reaching legal implications.

"The fetal homicide law not only recognizes a fetus, but also an embryo and a zygote as a living human being. That causes us huge concerns," said American Civil Liberties Union-Idaho Legislative Counsel Marty Durand. "Once you recognize a fetus or an embryo as having rights equal to a pregnant woman, down the road, those rights will be in conflict, and what do you do then?"

David Ripley, executive director of Idaho Chooses Life, said his organization backed the legislation because it protects fetuses from harm. But he readily acknowledged that the law bolsters the anti-abortion movement´s argument against the Supreme Court´s bedrock Roe v. Wade decision that legalized abortions in the United States.

"Fetal homicide statutes, while not directly related to abortion, create legal tension within the court structure," Ripley said. "We hope to press the envelope on that issue in favor of the baby."
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